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Shane Carruth

Directed by: Shane Carruth
Primer is a dark, demanding film that explores the dream of science, to stumble across something that changes everything. It sits comfortably in the company of grim fantasy cinema such as Pi and Donnie Darko, a genre that can track tonal antecedents back to George Lucas’ THX 1138 and the monsters from the id in Forbidden Planet. Shane Carruth wrote, directed and produced Primer for spare change (and won $20,000 for it at Sundance 2004). He also plays Aaron, one of the two guys who accidentally create a time machine in their garage. Like all great science fiction, the film uses a fantastic premise to explore broader moral dilemmas and unlike much of big-budget Hollywood escapism, it eschews special effect flash for an unsettling, analogue skitter and hum. This is the anti-I, Robot. It may require several screenings to unravel its pretzel logic. In a shadow of the film’s theme, you may go back to Primer a number of times and still not get a perfect reality, but it’ll be fun goin
—Carsten Knox

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Vol 25, No 21
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